Sunday, December 31, 2017

pineapple block quilt

I finished this quilt last evening, in time to meet my deadline of finishing before the end of the year.  The pattern is called a pineapple block.  Though I like how the block looks, I didn't like how long it took to make each one.  I started making this quilt at a retreat last November where my sister Amanda was teaching.  Now there are three red, white, and blue quilts in my collection, but that's about right for someone with a fourth of July birthday.

Friday, December 29, 2017

books for 2017

My total of books read for the year is 42.  Six were books I had read before-a trilogy by Renee Riva, The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas, As Waters Gone By by Cynthia Ruchti and Unseduced and Unshaken by Rosalie De Rosset.

Recommended fiction
  • As Waters Gone By by Cynthia Ruchti    Emmalyn moves to Madeline Island, wondering what's next in life and waiting for her husband to finish his time in prison.  Emmalyn meets some new friends and finds a way to make something good out of difficult circumstances. 
  • Catching the Wind by Melanie Dobson    Daniel was a young man living in Europe during World War II.  Now he is in his 80s, and he hires journalist Quenby Vaughn to find a girl he knew from his boyhood in Europe.  
  • The Giant Pumpkin Suite by Melanie Heuiser Hill   This book is written by a Minnesota author and is the story of a group of neighbors who work together to grow a giant pumpkin. 
  • Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke   Hannah goes to Germany to meet a grandfather she never knew existed.  Hannah learns much about her family history that she never knew.  Like Catching the Wind, this is also about World War II
Recommended nonfiction books are
  • The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom   An autobiography of a woman who lived in Holland during World War II, including time spent in a concentration camp.
  • The Art of Explanation by Lee LeFever    This book is for anyone in education, sales, marketing, human resources or someone who wants to improve their communication skills.
  • Better Off (Flipping the Switch on Technology) by Eric Brende    Brende tells the story of his year living with minimal technology.
  • Unseduced and Unshaken by Rosalie De Rosset    Written for women who want to live an intentional life.  Though De Rosset's target audience is young women, it is relevant for those past their twenties.
What books did you read this year that you would recommend?  

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Maple and Willow's Christmas Tree

Maple and Willow's Christmas Tree by Lori Nichols is a book I have added to my books to read aloud in December.  Maple and Willow are sisters who get along, most of the time.  In this book, they are excited to get a real tree for Christmas.  It is exciting for them, until they realize that Maple is allergic to the real tree.  A story about sisters and forgiveness at Christmas time is perfect for preschool and school age children.   

Saturday, November 25, 2017

random posts to read

Here are three posts I recommend reading.
  • This post is about gift ideas for children and teens.  The ideas steer them toward experiencing life rather than just sitting around in front of a screen.
  • On a completely different note is a post my cousins' cousin wrote about longevity in marriage.  Their grandparents celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary this summer. 
  • And finally, a post by psychologist Kelly Flanagan about living in community.  His perspectives are easy to read and give people something to discuss.

Friday, November 3, 2017

The Hiding Place

I finally read The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.  I had watched a portion of the movie when I was middle school age, and knew some of the story.  It is about time I read the book, and wondered why I had not before.  For those not familiar with the book, Corrie was a young woman living in Holland when the Nazis took over the country.  It tells about the courage it took for her and her family to help the Jews, despite the danger it placed them in.  Although the story tells about the atrocities of the Nazis, it is also a story of love, hope and forgiveness.  If you haven't read this book yet, add it to your reading list. 
note: I would not recommend this book to those under 14 due to descriptions of concentration camps

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Explorers of the Wild

Explorers of the Wild by Cale Atkinson is a picture book I found when looking for books about exploring.  It is a perfect book for children who love the outdoors.  The story begins by showing the things a boy and a bear do separately while exploring.  Then they encounter one another.  Naturally, both bear and boy are afraid at first, but then they choose to be explorers together.  This is a good book for preschoolers through second grade as a read aloud.